Josh Matlow calls for $500 stopping fine

Councillor Josh Matlow is going to ask Council to approve a $500 fine for drivers who block Toronto roads during rush-hour traffic. This “blocking” language is from a Citytv story. We take it that the Councillor means stopping on a street during rush hour. In this case, says Mr. Matlow, it seems that selfish drivers are blocking the curb lanes so they can grab a morning coffee. He wants it stopped. That’s okay. We’re in favour of obeying the Highway Traffic Act and all its off-shoots. Of course, it’s a matter of personal opinion which part of it you find most important. People — even nice people — who make illegal U-turns frequently place those all around them in peril. A $500 fine? Maybe. And then there are cyclists flying through stop signs and red lights. Fairly scary. At $500 an infraction the City would soon be flush. Let’s think this through. Does someone who is desperately trying to pick up his kid or wife deserve a $500 ticket if he stops on a thoroughfare during rush hour? The laws, as we know, aren’t applied selectively to coffee drinkers. You decide.

COBS Bread to be closed for two days

COBS Bread on South Bayview will be closed for two days beginning today. This is apparently because of scheduled maintenance.

Armed forces to return to historic names

Canada’s air force, navy and army are once again to be known by the historic names used during World War II and in Korea. The defense minister, Peter MacKay is expected to announce today that the air force will henceforce be known at the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the navy will assume the name Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). The army which is now known as the somewhat vague Land Force Command, will be called the Canadian Army. It has been 40 years since the Liberal government of the day merged the armed force and did away with the names. It appears however that the newly named armed forces will continue to function under a single overall command. CTV

Bold Google buys Motorola for US$12.5 billion

Google will buy mobile phone and electronics maker Motorola for a cool US$12.5 billion cash. The move is said to be intended to give Google an assist in fighting off patent lawsuits from other smartphone and mobile computing giants. Motorola it is noted owns no fewer than 17,000 patents with another 7,500 pending. Besides being by far the largest deal that Google has ever proposed, buying Motorola would push the company into phone and computer tablet manufacturing for the first time, at the risk of alienating the other device makers that depend on Google’s Android operating system.

Patios and street displays removed

Patios and street displays came down Monday morning as work began on sidewalk replacement on South Bayview. Top left, sparks fly as the old fencing at The Mad Italian comes down. Right, Lambert Moo and helper take down patio fencing at Chai on Bayview. Below, TMI’s dismantled patio. Next door, Sal and Chris at Badali’s remove those heavy wooden display benches to temporary storage. It’s a contentious thing for restaurants with patios as the cost of replacement is not settled.

BMW electric “Shark” also has gas motor

BMW will unveil its idea of the future of the electric car at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s been described as the Shark Car. To distinguish these cars from petrol and diesel, the prototypes are prefixed with the letter ‘i’, like the iPhone and iPad. Powered by a 125 kW electric motor, it accelerates from rest to 62 mph in less than eight seconds, with a top speed limited to 93 mph and a range of up to 100 miles. For those with ‘range anxiety’, BMW offers a small petrol engine as an onboard power station. Briton Ian Robertson, BMW’s global sales director, said while electric power will play an increasing role, the internal combustion engine will be around for many years yet. Mail Online

Harry Samuel moves up at Royal Bank

A well thought of and seasoned executive at the Royal Bank has been promoted to be the new head of the European capital markets business. He is Harry Samuel, currently global co-head of fixed income and currencies and global head of treasury services and a 22-year veteran at RBC. Samuel is a prospective candidate for further promotion at RBC possibly even to the top chair at the firm one day. Mr. Samuel replaces John Burbidge, who retired on July 31.

Patios to come out for sidewalk work

Sunday was a workday for employees of the firm getting ready to replace sidewalks on South Baview. The work is scheduled to begin tomorrow (Monday) morning and will require removal of the patios. The popular sitting and eating squares survived all other construction on Bayview but this time, they will be ripped out, apparently at the restaurateurs expense. Here you see a supervisor checking just how the patio railings are intertwined with the gas pipes which were installed earlier this year. It appears that if the gas is not disconnected, the patio fencing will have to be destroyed by cutting. Not a popular prospect. Right, eaterie owners were making their concerns known. It was said Sunday that the work will proceed up Bayview from Millwood on the east side, and then begin on the west side. Work is expected to be finished by the second week of September.

Terrifying video of stage collapse in Indiana

Several amateur shooters caught this tragic event digitally last night. In this one, the operator seems to anticipate that there is trouble coming. Powerful gusts of wind bring down the stage rigging at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis. Five are now reported to have been killed.

Historic drama at Adelaide and John Streets

This wonderful picture of an 1860s home in downtown Toronto is one of many available. They show an important drama which took place today. You can see them all by checking the series of Google links here. The old brick structure is moving to permit work on a new condo, The Pinnacle on Adelaide. This was the day that the house was moved to a temporary location across John Street to a parking lot where it will sit for some two years. Then, when the 43-storey Pinnacle is built, the house will be moved back across John where it will be restored as part of the new complex. What a great town this is — broke or not.

Hot job on a quiet Saturday

The excavation at 19 and 17 Bessborough will soon see the rise of two homes. On this hot Saturday it was necessary to shift some dirt at the back of the lot. Whew!

Cadillac close to announcing an electric car

GM is apparently close to a production approval on its Cadillac electric car. The vehicle is said to clone a lot of the works of a Volt but to be heavier and, well, more like a Cadillac. It’s been given the odd name of Converj. There’s a bit of “inside baseball” stuff in this story from the New York Times story linked. Good for those with a lot of curiosity about green cars and also if you think you might like to own a Cadillac Converj some day Worth a read.